The Philadelphia Flyers have made the decision to buy out defenseman Tony DeAngelo’s contract, effectively making him an unrestricted free agent and ending his tumultuous tenure with the team. General manager Daniel Briere announced on Friday that DeAngelo had been placed on unconditional waivers. DeAngelo was set to earn $5 million in the final season of his two-year deal that was signed with former GM Chuck Fletcher in July 2022. As a result of the buyout, the Flyers will carry $1.667 million in dead salary cap space for the next two seasons, according to CapFriendly.
In the 2022-23 season, DeAngelo recorded 11 goals and 31 assists in the 70 games he played with the Flyers. However, he was frequently left out of the lineup by coach John Tortorella towards the end of the season. Despite the challenges, DeAngelo expressed his gratitude for being a part of the Flyers organization, stating, “My whole life, I’ve wanted to be a Flyer. Now that I am, I don’t take it for granted at all. It’s something that means a lot to me so I’m not going to let any relationship stuff get in the way. He’s the coach of the team. I respect what he does. Do I agree with it, what happened in the last five games? Absolutely not. I think it’s ridiculous that I didn’t play in the last five. But he’s the coach of the team. It’s not my job to decide that.”
Failed Trade Attempt Leads to Buyout
The decision to buy out DeAngelo’s contract comes after the Flyers’ unsuccessful attempt to trade him to the Carolina Hurricanes earlier in the summer. On July 7, 2022, the Flyers acquired the restricted free agent rights to DeAngelo from the Hurricanes in exchange for three draft picks. In June, Briere had arranged a deal to send DeAngelo back to the Hurricanes in return for a prospect, with Philadelphia retaining 50% of his salary. However, Rule 50.5 of the NHL CBA prevents teams from trading a player, having another team assume a portion of their salary, and then quickly reacquiring that player at a reduced cap cost. Since the retention of salary was a crucial aspect of the deal, it was disallowed by the NHL.
As a result of the buyout, the Hurricanes now have the opportunity to sign DeAngelo as a free agent if they so choose. This turn of events provides a potential avenue for DeAngelo to continue his hockey career, albeit with a different team. The Flyers, on the other hand, will have to navigate the upcoming seasons with the dead salary cap space resulting from the buyout.
Tony DeAngelo’s time with the Philadelphia Flyers has come to an end as the team opts to buy out his contract. Despite experiencing a turbulent period towards the end of the 2022-23 season, DeAngelo remains appreciative of his opportunity to be a Flyer. The failed trade attempt with the Hurricanes further complicated the situation, leading to the decision to part ways with DeAngelo. Now, the Hurricanes have the chance to potentially add DeAngelo to their roster, while the Flyers face the repercussions of carrying dead salary cap space.